Operation Desert Heat 2012 Hits Victor Valley

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(Best Syndication News) The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department has revived Operation Desert Heat to reduce gang activity in the High Desert. Deputies from the department will carry-out focused sweeps in Victorville, Hesperia, and Apple Valley to reduce crime.

Working with state parole agents and county probation officers, the Sheriff’s Department will be targeting parole violators and gang members. First District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt contributed $100,000 from his discretionary funds to help sponsor the effort. Public officials have claimed that last year’s Desert Heat was a success.

“Gang activity continues to be the most serious criminal threat faced by the citizens of the Victor Valley,” Supervisor Mitzelfelt said this week. “Desert Heat will make gang members painfully aware that they cannot run the streets with impunity.”

Teams of deputies from the Sheriff’s gang unit will conduct the sweeps throughout the summer. They plan to concentrate on high-crime areas with an emphasis on probationers and parolees.

“We also are dealing with nearly 3,000 felons who are now under County supervision as a result of the state’s prison realignment program,” Mitzelfelt added. “We will ensure that these probationers and parolees are complying with the law.”

There are an estimated 2,000 gang members in the Victor Valley and more than 17,000 countywide. Sheriff Rod Hoops estimates that there are 750 gangs in total.

District Attorney Mike Ramos says that burglaries and vehicle thefts have increased significantly over the last year.

Although the city of Victorville has also contributed $15,000 to Operation Desert Heat, Hoops credits others. “Without the support of our County Supervisor and contract cities, this operation would not be possible,” Sheriff Hoops said.

By: Dan Wilson

Image: Archive photo

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